Live coverage of WILL
7:12 Opening remarks from the fabulous emcee Caro. She’s auctioning off Tucker Inn cookies!! She claims she would perform obscene acts for some of those cookies. Proceeds go to the winner’s travel fund. Evidently these cookies have no calories. Bidding is fierce. One bidder wants to smell them, Caro says she’ll close her legs. Winner gets amazing cookies for $55.
7:17 Caro declares us “on time” (in leather time). Opening National Anthem by Solitaire. Everyone singing along, lovely to hear all the strong women’s voices in unison.
7:20 introducing contestants: Lady Minx from Dallas, Angel Propps from North Carolina, Daddy Cole from Atlanta. First appearance, they look great in their leathers! Introducing judges: Head judge, Liza. “Woman who needs no introduction” Mama Sandy. “Woman who gets around” Glenda Rider, Mera Tucker, Deborah Isadora-Wade, Dr. Alex Warner, Master Val. Entertainment by Solitaire and Sir Cougar. Tallymasters Ms. Suzan and BJ.
7:25 remarks from current Titleholder Tracy Wolf. Her leather identity has “deepened” during her year. Says biggest thanks goes to producer Ian, apologizes for not having enough photos but says it’s more about the interviews than the pictures. Says Judy Tallwing’s story touched her deeply, she was homeless and adopted by a leatherman. Tracy says we’re all “survivors.” She says we’re all “smart,” and “we have so many advanced degrees it’s stunning.” We’re “clever. ” Talking about T’Hayla and Gillian’s wedding vows that included subtle inclusion of their M/s relationship. She says so many stories she was “afraid would end bad” ended up having wonderful endings. Describes us as “merciful.” Was touched by Caro talking about feeding men who were too sick to care for themselves. Wishes best to new titleholder, calls this work “critical.” Says leather women are FIERCE, standing ovation from audience.
7:35 Caro explains the title exists for the purpose of collection of history. Contest requirements are based on titleholder’s ability to sit down and talk to people. Need to be able to put them at ease, connect with people from all walks of life. Contestants have to present a history lecture, private interviews with judges, also had to do an interview with an unknown person, and two on-stage questions. No hotwear, “no coldwear” (audience laughs). First contestant Minx called to stage.
7:39 Lady Minx is presenting on Bootblacking history because she is a bootblack and a femmme switch. Talking about women’s bootblack history, IML/IMBB started in 1993. Leslie Anderson was first IMsBB. “Women bootblacks have been around for longer than some of us have been in the community.” We’ve lost a lot of history, asks audience to document their history. Says she lost someone in her life unexpectedly and will never know her history. “What happens if we don’t archive it?” It’s important to document it for those that come after. “I want to know your stories. I want to share my story.”…” What happens if we don’t archive? How do we record history? Oral” (“I like oral,” audience laughs). Says she was introduced to leather care in 90s, was given a 2 hour lesson then told to present herself at a home and instructed to clean a room full of leather. “I did as I was told, loved it, never regretted it.” Microphone troubles, “I swear it’s not me! Maybe it’s my corset.” Audience laughs. ‘History and Herstory go hand in hand. Any questions?” No questions.
7:47 Angel Propps presenting. Technical difficulties with microphone
Caro wants to do a leather version of “toddlers and tiaras” but make it about sissies
Angel talking about the impact of erotica on women’s community. Mentions Samois started in 1978. Name came from Story of O. “good way to disguise themselves from those who did not know, and call out to those that did.” Coming to Power was fiction and also a “how-to” manual. Book grabbed a lot of attention, more groups began to form. Leather and Lace (“hi Jody!”) and Lesbian Sex Mafia (audience whoops.) Because of growing visibility, feminist sex wars began. Erotic fiction furthered our community, writing expressed “simple and unapologetic desire.” They say “this is who we are,” that’s how we write history. Writers educate and turn us on. Laura Antinou helped coin the term Leatherdyke, Macho Sluts was first time she knew other people were puppies, “scared the shit out of me.” Says the list goes on of influential authors. Stories of abduction, rough sex, etc., “that’s where we got the idea that leather was about sex.” Says we won’t talk about 50 Shades of Gray. Nod to Sinclair Sexmith as Leatherwoman writer. Angel shows cover of a book she wrote a story for. Says when we write we are “educating and furthering our community.”
7:57 Daddy Cole presenting. Brings out several boxes. Says many of us talk with vanillas about kink but don’t mention mind blowing sex. Says hy is going to give us a “really quick history briefing” about “leather in my lifetime.” Boxes are decorated with meaningful photos and media items from each decade. The boxes open, have lots of visuals inside and out. Audience enthusiastically responsive to the boxes. Talking about many things, Newsweek from the 70s, the impact of Bettie Page on leather, “sexual revolution” of bondage photos. Talking about “Leather Lobby Day” in 1994, sponsored by NCSF. Sarah Humble is featured on a box. The box from the 60′s shows the “Court system” with sparkles. Shows magazines that had “dot art,” you had to connect the dots to find a dirty picture. Has connect the dots boobies on hys box. Mera’s cookies are featured, as well as Vi Johnson’s library. “A Room of Her Own” is on one of the boxes. Daddy Cole shows hys own art as well. “I do collage.” Mentions Mama’s 70th birthday, Synn yells out “21st!”, Daddy Cole acknowledges heys mistake and thanks Mama for her service during her 21 years. Audience laughs.
8:07 Sir Cougar hits the stage for a little Drag King act to Melissa Etheridge “I’m the only one.” Audience is delighted, long line of people trying to stuff dollars down his pants. Highly entertaining! Raises a total of $106 for travel fund.
Sir Cougar says “I spent half an hour pushing these puppies down and now y’all are stuffing shit in them!” Chest full of dollar bills, Jayson DaBois assists with dollar retrieval. Intermission until 8:35, then Mama’s picture, parade of colors. Caro says “don’t be late!”
Parade of colors, Mama’s photo
Minx’s question: “You are given a deck of cards, assign a card to each judge and why”. Caro says “ooh this is ugly.” Mama is Queen of Harts, Glenda is Jack (of all trades), Alex is joker, “bubbly personality,” Master Val is a King. Asks “can it be more than one card for each judge?” Deborah is a Queen “every time I see her she has fabulous fucking shoes on.” Ace of Spades to Mera, “I don’t know much about you but want to know more. Ace is fierce and powerful always trumping a deck.” Liza is Ace of Diamonds “because you never know what’s in each corner, but you alwasy want it there in the corner.” Minx leaves, is called back. Two pop questions!
“tell us how new media can be optimized and leveraged to serve women’s leather history.” answer “twitter, facebook fetlife, video (i like video), oral, traveling to events, email. Putting the name out there and hearing the stories.”
She refuses to give the paper back to Caro, audience laughs.
“We’ve invented a new term: Leather Crone. What does it mean.” Caro: “don’t look at my skin and think about the answer.” Angel: “I used to like you, Caro.”
Angel says she doesn’t want to say it because she’s going to get “beat down”
Angel says “anybody over 105.” Audeince laughs and cheers.
“In your opinon what is the most significant event in women’s leather history” answer: “conference at Bernard University due to the growing presence of leatherwomen and their refusal to be quiet and stay quiet. Some panel members were califia, dorothy allison, they basically said this is who we are and how it is, forwarded us as leatherwomen and sex positive feminists. Leather women have always been feminists, we own our sexuality.”
“you have to invent a new hanky for leather history. Color, texture, why”
Answer: “Cashmere and lace, with rainbow on it, on the ends are leather things you can snap someone with. ” Audience roars
“Why is it important that Women’s leather history become a stand-alone project.”
“because we are vital to this community, we are. ..trying to watch my language.” “we are intelligent, we are hot, we make things happen, I wanted to say because we’re fucking awesome.” Audience cheers “truth is, like any community we need space for ourselves, we need to share energy and we need to continue to archive and record our own history. Who else is gonna do it??” Audience applauds.
Auction for basket of goodies, goes for $100. Hardy refuses to model the underwear to raise bids to $250. Audience is brokenhearted.
Soliatire sings “Whatever Lola Wants.” People swarm stage with dollars.
Judges are still tabulating, another song from Solitaire. Evidently her panties and bra are “matching and accessorized.”
Solitaire sings the prison song from Chicago, audience loves it.
When contestants got to contest they had to conduct an interview and present tonight.
Lady Minx interviewed Samantha. Asked 12 questions. Bisexual switch collared slave, came into lifestyl in 1997. I asked what change would you like to see? Her answer: more acceptance, less labels. “What is one of your greatest achievements” answer: to walk in natural skin professionally personally every day, without judgement. “what would you say was one of your regrets.” doesn’t have any, lives every day ot the fullest. “What of women’s history movement you like?” I’ve learned a lot of history, glad it’s here, want to grow with it. “who is an inspiration to you?” Daddy Mikey, open and honest, loving, “her heart.” He introduced her to our lifestyle. “what challenges have you overcome” Blessed havent had major challenges, finds swithicng a challenge. Minx agrees. “what visions do you have for the future” to continue to live openly and one day have full surgery. “what is the best advice” answer: don’t ask me for fucking advice. “what would you like to see in WHLP not currently there” see transwomen’s voices heard, to be seen and documented. It’s not like they’re being overlooked, just haven’t stood up yet to let their voice be heard. ” “how did you come into being a vendor” reecently laid off from being a naughty nurse, spoke with master mack about some items, and the rest is history.”
Angel interviewed Solitaire, was a submissive girl, SELF titleholder, fondest memories were throwing hobbit around, stomping nick in face. Some examples of how community has changed “the perception that all female dominants are 20something barbie women in dom gear, giving way to appreciation as real women with real bodies and outside interests.” says language has changed, seeing more girls and girl groups. These groups add to community. Says internet has given us an ability to conncet, but has given other people a overly romanticized idea of leather. Says there is no old guard written on testicular skin of young virgins but if there were, hardy haberman would own it. Says being bi in leather is slightly easier in pan community, can be difficult, ffeels that as long as someone is true to the self, that’s what key. We can all be who we are, room for everybody. Worst myth is if a woman becomes involved with a dyke, she’s a lesbian, or if she’s involved with a man she’s straight. Few words of advice “you should hurt ‘em like a motherfucker. Hurt em hard. But don’t harm them “
Daddy Cole interviewed Slave Marsha. Hy has another box. Gives a shout out to hys girl who isn’t here and slave kelly handler. idn’t try to develop a bio, took from conversation some things about who she is as a person. In grand scheme, that’s what interests hym most, “who are you really?” Two things: relationship: “everyone’s curious” starts with side of box marked with a 2. Serves Master Jim, a gay male, and Marsha identitfies as lesbian. They’ve been together as M/s. (flips box, shows the number 17) they’ve been together 17 years, that’s more important. Are they in a sexual realtionship you might ask (hardy asks it). Marsha says they are not, turns box to side that says the number 3. Marsha is involved with Cougar, her husband. Cougar identifies as lesbian. Imagine being Cougar, imagine being respectful of her primary dynamic with Master Jim. There’s the 32, Master and slave, and Marsha and her husband. Lets give them a hand. Says complex relationships take work, developed a great amount of respect learning about hte relationships. Asked Marcia, what if you have Marsha slave school? First three days of Marsha slave school, 24 students show up, want to be slaves. What are you going to tell them? Beinning of day 1, paraphrasing, if you have any other way of living and still being true to yourself, I recommend you do it. No disrespect. If you’re here and want to do this, you better have explored all other options.” 8 students come back the second day. Marsha is not surprised. “How do you know this is something you want?” Reasons must be based in reality. “I need you to know there’s no hocus pocus or old guard manual” Faye shouts out “Hardy has it!” audience laughs. Cole turns box to side with a 4 on it, day three Marsha embarks on journey with the four students, different journies for each one. Opens lid of box, 1 printed on inside. Marsha says must take care of herself if she will be effective. Talked about her appearance representing her family. “could have spent three more hours, great experienece.”
Sir Cougar performs to “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy”, audience sings along loudly
Winner announced: Angel Propps